Catching Up With Goodies

Experts | Insider |

By Roy Huntington

I’ve stumbled onto some really first-rate gear over the past year or so, and have only gotten to showcase some of it. I was eye-balling my “best of the cool stuff” pile and thought hey, why not devote an entire Insider column to shining the limelight on as many as space allows? Each goodie is well-deserving of the spotlight — and the smaller companies are always especially appreciative of the help getting the word out.

Without further ado, here’s a buncha’ stuff peaking my “Whoa, this is great!” meter after man-handling most of ’em myself. Each deserves some close attention if you have a need for what it can do — or to simply appease that “gotta-have-it” attack! Hey, I never knew I needed some of my best “stuff” until I saw it for the first time. Bet you can relate, eh?


Ed Jennings sent me his Mk III sight pusher he makes himself in his shop. Selling for around $65 (a genuine steal!), it can safely and effectively drive sights on 95 percent of the autos out there. I purposely tested it for a long time, trying it on a Glock, 1911’s, an HK, Springfield XD’s, a S&W Shield, Rugers, a Taurus, a Walther or two, and it worked just fine on everything. It looks “busy” but once you figure it out it’s fast and easy. It lives on my workbench!, (205) 533-2033, [email protected]”>[email protected]


I wrote up the classic Concorde Aviator sunglasses from Tactical RX some time ago and wanted to update you — they’ve been bullet proof. I added a slightly mirrored set for motorcycle riding and as a spare. The quality is stunning. But what caught my eye was their “Julbo” frames. If you watch Mythbusters, you might have noticed the unusual glasses Jamie Hyneman wears. Well team, here they are. I liked the side covers (glare really gets me these days), and the shape is, um … distinctive. They can build you about any sort of eyewear you need, including shooting glasses. I can’t recommend them too much!, (303) 455-3369


We’ve featured the Cammer Hammer before, and in our experience it works as advertised. Now they’ve upgraded the design and performance. Basically, using a clever “curved” hammer face, the Cammer Hammer can reduce the amount of force needed to work the slide on a 1911 style auto. The new design touches (helped along with sage advice from Dave Lauck of DL Sports), means higher reliability, reduced muzzle flip and refined, safe trigger pulls for all calibers., (844) 412- 0968, [email protected]


Altamont has been in business for over 30 years has an expansive line-up of grips for most common handguns. Pictured are “Aged Bonded Ivory” 1911-style (a synthetic, but ages like real ivory), standard “white” bonded ivory on the S&W and “Super Walnut” complete with Colt logo. You can get scrimshawed models, tactical models, Premiere models and much more. Altamont is also the go-to place for most major manufacturers when they need grips for production models., (800) 626-5774, [email protected]


Jack and Peachy Roman created Tuff-Writer out of a dream to create the best products possible. They revolutionized the “tactical” pen market by introducing precision engineered and machined designs proving to be virtually indestructible. Their latest, this “Mini-Click” pen line, is American-made, modular, compact, uses a wide-range of refills and fits in just about any pocket. I use my test sample daily and it’s in my pocket as I write this. I’m proud to help introduce this innovative bit of creative work by them, and hope you support this great-little company! Tell ’em we sent you!, (480) 329-6105


Here’s a two-fer from Streamlight. The Portable USB Charger (square box thingie) allows you to keep plenty of power handy to recharge phones, tablets and stuff like that. If it has a USB port and needs charging, here you go. It can also hold a charge for three months, which is handy. A built-in LED light is a nice touch and it recharges itself via USB. The Protac UL light is USB rechargeable and accepts multiple battery types, including common CR123’s. You can program it for three operating modes, and it blasts out 800 lumens on high, 350 on medium and 85 on low. This technology is amazing these days! More light than you could ever wish for, but get it anyway!, (800) 523-7488


When is a range bag more than a range bag? When it can also save someone’s life. Echo-Sigma’s “Ranger” is not only equipped with a real-world serious trauma pack, but also has dedicated compartments and holders for normal range gear. Additionally, their remarkable Compact Survival Kit is included to help get you home if a crisis strikes. I have two Echo-Sigma survival packs and they form the core of my family’s BUG-out stash. This new model is perfect for competitors or shooters and could be easily configured for other chores like hunting., (424) 241-3246


Chip McCormick’s new 10-round 9mm mag (Product #19003) for 1911 autos has an integral feed ramp allowing cartridges to by-pass the feed ramp of the gun and get kicked directly into the chamber. Chip told me he’s tested this mag with thousands of rounds without fail. I’ve used my sample during five 9mm 1911 tests and have probably run about 1,500 or so rounds through it with no bobbles. Something must be right here since it has worked absolutely perfectly so far for me. There’s a reason 9mm 1911’s are becoming popular — low recoil, accuracy, higher capacity, etc. — and I’m going to get a half-dozen of these mags to keep on-hand to feed my STI 9mm!, (830) 793-2863


Coonan’s .357 Magnum 1911-style auto has been gaining popularity since its re-introduction not long ago. They have just announced a new .45 ACP model, designed along the lines of a 1911, but with some new features. A link-less barrel, external extractor and pivoting trigger are among the big changes. An extended slide release and thumb safety and Novak sights help to round things out. We have one pending for a test so stay tuned for more info later., (763) 786-1720, [email protected]


You’ve likely used Flitz cream polish and if you haven’t it does wonders on anything metal you need to get shiny. Brass, aluminum, silver, even plastic, etc. shines right up. I used to use it on my badge and name tag when I was a cop. It can even brighten an old blued finish if you go easy. This “kit” is handy and has cleaner, Flitz polish and protection wax. I like to use wax (even car wax) on hunting guns as it makes water bead-up. This wax acts like a preservative and is great for storing guns. The Matte cleaner doesn’t make matte finishes shiny but gets ‘em clean. The tumbler additive makes that fired brass shine (I tried it and it works). I haven’t used the bore cleaner but it’s a “green” product, just so you know., (262) 534-5898


No need to make introductions here as I’m sure you know Hoppe’s. This kit showed up here not long ago and it dawned on me it’s a handy thing to toss into your “go” bag. At the range, in the field, shop, RV, just about anywhere, you can at least give your gun a quick go-over if needed. I’ve found you can use their .22-caliber “rifle” Boresnakes for a handgun in a pinch. Hoppe’s solvent is legendary — and we all love the smell — and their light gun oil also does double duty lubricating just about anything around the house or shop. That gun is a classic 5-screw S&W K-22, by the way, and no … it’s not for sale!, (800) 423-3537


Remember those great wooden shooting boxes the old-timers had at the range? Made by Pachmayr (and plenty of home-built ones), with the addition of a Gil Heberd spotting scope mount, you were good to go. Those makers are either gone now or simply out of the business of shooting boxes. Ted Werner of Hyskore decided to fix that, but raised the ante some. His all-aluminum shooter’s box follows the classic layout, holding four handguns and also comes with a shelf and spotting scope mount. This is a lifetime investment, unlike the old plywood boxes, and is pretty much indestructible. Called the Bull’s Eye Competition Pistol Case (#30259), it’s modern and old-fashioned — at the same time. Thanks Ted!, (631) 673-5975, [email protected]


Mec-Gar has sold over 100,000,000 magazines in the last 50 years. That, folks, is a lotta’ mags, so they’ve gotten pretty good at it. Mec-Gar is the go-to company for many major firearms companies, supplying magazines for over 200 models over the years. Chances are very good if you own an auto pistol, it has a Mec-Gar mag! This sort of “original equipment” type quality is important so keep that in mind if you’re in the market to fit your Taurus, SIG, Luger, 1911, Beretta, Bersa, CZ, S&W, Witness, Browning, Springfield, Walther … um … you get the drift, right? One-stop shopping is what you get with Mec-Gar. I use their stuff all the time., (860) 635-1525, [email protected]


Bling is a growing attraction in the industry these days, and applying some to guns of all sorts is becoming more common. A small company called Firegild labels themselves as a “boutique venue” offering “… beautiful, high quality, hand-embellished firearms and grips.” They will personalize any firearm to meet your idea of what’s attractive. “Whether it’s a simple design, or an exquisite one … Firegild Firearms are a statement to Luxury,” according to Polly Davis Ditch, the founder. They also have more understated designs, and in all honesty, some of the men’s stuff (concentrating mostly on custom grip work) looks pretty good to me. If this sort of thing gets your attention, then here you go!, (315) 559-0362


Inland’s new American-made M1 pistol is called the “Advisor” after the modified M1’s created by US advisors during the Vietnam conflict. Having many of the same basic characteristics of the original Inland carbine, the Advisor has a 12″ barrel, low wood stock, round bolt, modified M1A1 stock (minus the wire portion) making it a legal pistol. The flash hider is also screwed onto the barrel using 1/2″ x 28 threads allowing a suppressor installation if you own one. All NFA weapon rules apply here, so if you get one, don’t install a wire butt-stock! Great for re-enactors, any militaria collector or just for fun., (877) 425-4867


My “daily carry” belt is a heavy canvas belt using that classic military buckle design allowing you to make limitless adjustments. Big lunch? Loosen. Strapped on the gun? Tighten. The Ares Aegis “Crossover” belt by CrossBreed uses the same sort of buckle, but is built like a Russian tank, out of stainless steel. The leather belt is 11/2″ wide, of 7 oz. leather outside with a 7 oz. liner. Everything’s cross-stitched and ends up about 1/4″ thick. Not too thick — not too thin. The limitless adjustment is simply marvelous and it’s a solid gun belt too. It’s my new “dress” CCW belt., (888) 732-5011


SureFire’s “Titan Plus” personal light is in that rarified air only reserved for the best quality lights. Don’t let the tiny size fool you (that’s a .45 ACP round in the picture), it explodes with 300 lumens (1 hour) of brilliant light, using just a single AAA battery! It comes with a rechargeable NiMH battery but it worked just fine with alkalines too. Of nickel plated brass, it has a pleasant heft in the hand. A 75-lumen medium mode (2 hours) and soft 15-lumen low (7 hour run-time) makes it versatile. A “professional” grade light in a tiny package. I carry mine daily., (800) 828-8809

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